IRISH trainer Aidan O’Brien celebrated a podium sweep after Found won Europe’s most prestigious horse race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, at Chantilly, last Sunday.
The four-year-old Irish filly, saddled by Ryan Moore, kicked with four furlongs to run to convincingly win the Arc, the richest race in Europe with €5m in total prize money.
Highland Reel and Order of St George came in second and third to round off an outstanding day’s racing for O’Brien, whose sole previous Arc victory was by Dylan Thomas nine years ago.
Pre-race 2/1 favourite Postponed came in fifth.
“It’s a great feeling to saddle the first three home in an Arc, there’s not much to beat it, but it’s all down to a fantastic team effort. I’m delighted for (owners) John (Magnier), Michael (Tabor), Derrick (Smith) and their families,” said O’Brien.
“And what makes it amazing is that they’re all by Galileo,” he said of the retired Irish thoroughbred he used to train, but is now an active sire.
O’Brien added, “It’s a privilege to be here and be part of it. How can you see anything higher (in his career) than this? I couldn’t dream this would happen. You know how difficult the Arc is.
“She’s only run over a mile and a half four times before, and she was unlucky in the Arc last year. Epsom was also a falsely-run mile and a half, and we came here very hopeful after a good run last time. We’ve had our eye on this for a long time. When Ryan rode her as a two-year-old and said she could win an Arc, he was obviously right.”
Reaching speeds of up to 60kmph over the tricky 2.4km Chantilly track, hosting the race while Longchamp undergoes much-needed renovations, Found was not among the early pace-setters led by Vedevani, touted Japanese runner Makahiki and Highland Reel.
Order Of St George, ridden by Frankie Dettori, moved up into second behind Vedevani with The Grey Gatsby third and Postponed wide in fourth being tracked by Left Hand and Makahiki.
But as the horses hit the home stretch in perfect conditions at the racetrack north of Paris, Found accelerated through the jostling field along the inside rail with Highland Reel on her coattails and found herself with a free run-in to the line.
Found’s victory ended a run of five successive runner-up spots in Group One races including being beaten by Postponed in the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June.